Burning Doors

The new show by the amazing Belarus Free Theatre is as extraordinary as you would expect – courageous, uncompromising, challenging and at times profoundly uncomfortable to watch. The theme of Nicolai Khalezin’s play is Putin’s brutal war on art and artists in Russia. And although the narrative flow is too slowed to snail’s pace by prolix exposition and propaganda, the importance of the subject matter, the shocking treatment unmasked and the astonishing physicality of a brilliant cast make this a night to remember. There’s a particularly unsettling  sequence in which Maria Alyokhina is waterboarded in front of our eyes, something that really happened to her after she was jailed for her involvement in Pussy Riot. Despite the horrors, there is also a good deal of wit, including a terrific scene involving two Putin aides mourning how much political power is wielded today by the likes of Macca and Madonna. Burning Doors runs at London’s Soho Theatre until September 24. Don’t miss it.

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